Fossil Free Universities Australia

Currently Australian Universities invest millions of dollars in the fossil fuel industry through direct shares and endowments. These are universities that not only pride themselves on sustainable but also lead the way on research into climate change. Their continued support of the fossil fuel industry is risking our climate while also risking the future of their students, their reputation as well as their investment returns.

Despite the clear case for divestment our universities in Australia are being slow to move. There are now over 15 campaigns across Australia building the support of students, academics and alumni calling on universities to divest from fossil fuels.

Find a campaign at your university below.

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Campaigns (18)

  • Divest RMIT From Fossil Fuels
    RMIT is one the leading universities in Australia. It holds over $280 million in financial assets and it is not yet known to what extent these assets are exposed to the volatile, high-risk and environmentally destructive fossil fuel industry, which is driving and accelerating global greenhouse gas emissions and obstructing meaningful action to curb anthropogenic climate change. Fossil Free RMIT wants to see the university commit to it's own guidelines and standards, put it's money where it's PR is and move towards cleaner, more ethical and socially just investment solutions. Atmospheric CO2 concentration levels crossed the 400 ppm threshold for the first time in human history (and in millions of years) and the world is already starting to feel the impacts of increasing extreme weather events, it is apparent that politicians, the state and corporations are unable and/or unwilling to take meaningful steps to curb climate change, even using solutions that in many cases are already available. Instead, the problem is being deferred to future generations. RMIT has the opportunity to actively address this crisis we face by divesting from fossil fuels. Many colleges and universities across the world are divesting from fossil fuels as we speak and as we act together we realise our power to make meaningful change. Let's strengthen RMIT's already strong commitment to sustainability by going fossil-free!
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    Created by Mitch Connolly
  • Fossil Free UTS
    There is unequivocal evidence that emissions from fossil fuels are driving runaway climate change, with devastating global environmental and humanitarian consequences, while causing irreversible harm to the health, water, forests and farmland of local communities. As members of the university community, we believe UTS, as a public institution of learning and knowledge, has a responsibility to invest its funds ethically. By ending its investments in the coal, oil and gas industries, the university can affirm its position as a leader in social innovation and encourage the move towards a sustainable, low-carbon future. As governments and markets begin to react to the threat of climate change, planned divestment will strengthen the university’s portfolio. Moreover, studies of fossil fuel divestment suggest that a portfolio that eliminated fossil fuel companies from the ASX 200 index exhibited similar risk return characteristics as the index which included fossil fuels.
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    Created by Alana West
  • Divest the University of Melbourne from fossil fuels
    Unless we act rapidly to curb global emissions, we face climate catastrophe within this century. If we are to stay below the 2 degree guardrail for global warming, 80% of current fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. Despite this, the fossil fuel industry is committed to burning all of the coal, oil and gas in their reserves, and they continue to search for more. If their business plans go unchecked, we face a devastating future. At the same time, the fossil fuel industry funds climate denial, donates millions of dollars to politicians to get them on side, launches PR attacks on environmental campaigns and blocks legislation that would see us make the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. Unless we can rein in the inordinate power and influence of this industry we don't stand a chance of getting real action on climate change. By taking their money out of fossil fuels, the University of Melbourne can loosen the tight grip these companies have over our political system and make room for legislation that is in line with the climate science. As Australia's no. 1 University, the University of Melbourne is well-placed to call the fossil fuel industry out for their roll in blocking action on climate, and pave the way for a just transition to renewables.
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  • Divest UNSW from Fossil Fuels
    The fossil fuel industry has five times the amount coal, oil and gas needed to push our climate past the two degrees of warming that the world's governments have agreed to as the precipice. Financially, continued investment in companies that extract fossil fuels represents a significant risk to UNSW as these companies will face large devaluations when the world moves to lower emission energy sources. The fossil fuel industry is also known to support campaigns designed to discredit climate science as well as delay action on a shift to renewable energy and address anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. As a public leader in these fields it is embarrassing that we continue to support these activities. UNSW already leads the way in encouraging and enabling a sustainable future for our society through research and education. A commitment to divest from fossil fuels is an effective way for UNSW to show further leadership. This move would lower the university’s financial risk while also generating positive publicity and increasing support for The University of New South Wales.
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  • Divest Monash University from fossil fuels
    Monash University is one the leading universities in Australia. Numerous Monash researchers (many of them IPCC authors) contribute important research about climate change and its future impacts. The scientific consensus on climate change from these researchers is quite clear, climate change must urgently be addressed. What is needed now is decisive action. However, as atmospheric CO2 concentration levels crossed the 400 ppm threshold for the first time in human history (and in millions of years) and the world is already starting to feel the impacts of increasing extreme weather events, it is apparent that politicians, corporations, and the public in general are unable or unwilling to take meaningful steps to curb climate change, even using solutions that in many cases are already available. Instead, the problem is being deferred to future generations. Monash University has an opportunity to show leadership by divesting from investments in fossil fuels which are driving and accelerating world carbon emissions and obstructing meaningful action to curb climate change. Let's strengthen Monash University's already strong commitment to sustainability by going fossil-free.
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    Created by Kerry Nice
  • Divest the University of Notre Dame Fremantle Australia from Fossil Fuels
    The consensus for action on climate change is overwhelming. Over 97% of climate scientists globally[2] , the CSIRO[3], United Nations, the Australian Academy of Science [3] and every major national science academy in the industrialised world [5] agree the planet is warming and the observed changes are almost certainly caused by human green house gas emissions and they agree that we need to act now. Virtually every government has acknowledged the threat of climate change and have agreed that we must limit an increase in global temperature to 2 degrees. Amongst the health profession, the World Health Organisation[6], the Australian Medical Association[7], Australian Medical Students' Association[8], Australian College Rural Remote Medicine[9], Australian Nursing Federation[10], Australian Physiotherapists Association[11], Australian Psychological Society[12], Public Health Association of Australia[13], Royal Australian college of Physicians[14], Australian healthcare and hospitals association[15], Members of the Climate And Health Alliance (CAHA)[16] and members of the Global Green and healthy hospitals network[17], all agree that this is an issue that we need to address now. Climate change is responsible for the deaths of 400,000 people globally each year and is costing the global economy $1.2 trillion annually[18]. References: (All last accessed: 21st May, 2013) [1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/19/carbon-bubble-financial-crash-crisis [2] http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107 [3] http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Climate/Understanding.aspx [4] http://science.org.au/policy/climatechange-g8+5.html [5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Statements_by_scientific_organizations_of_national_or_international_standing [6] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/index.html [7] https://ama.com.au/node/4442 [8] http://media.amsa.org.au/policy/2010/2010_climate_change_and_health_policy.pdf [9] https://www.acrrm.org.au/country-watch-6-january [10] http://anf.org.au/documents/policies/PS_Climate_Change.pdf [11] http://www.physiotherapy.asn.au/DocumentsFolder/APAWCM/Advocacy/PositionStatement_2017_ClimateChange.pdf [12] http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/Position-statement-climate-change-August2010.pdf [13] www.phaa.net.au/documents/policy/20081006revisedClimateChange.pdf [14] http://www.racp.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=F30B227E-D741-D52C-7E5B74679D3F43BF [15] http://ahha.asn.au/sites/default/files/publication/15361/120726_greening_hospitals_and_healthcare_services_-_policy_brief.pdf [16] http://caha.org.au/about/members/ [17] http://greenhospitals.net/members/ [18] http://www.phaa.net.au/documents/121002Inaction%20on%20climate%20change%20now%20a%20leading%20cause%20of%20deaths%20globally.pdf See also: http://lockthecampus.org/
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  • Divest Murdoch University of Fossil Fuels
    We have reached a landmark moment in history. For the first time in over 5 million years the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million (ppm). 97 % of all climate scientists agree that climate change is human induced and argue that the highest safe concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is 350 ppm. If we want to secure a safe and livable future it is time to end the fossil fuel era and invest in renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles. By demanding that our local community divests from this destructive industry we are directly contributing to a better future within the framework of a larger, growing global movement. Another future is not only possible, it is urgent.
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  • Divest the Rest For a Fossil Free ANU
    UPDATE: ANU's divestment decision makes it a climate leader? Think again. Last year ANU attracted a torrent of community support, after it stood up to the divestment bullies. But the reality is ANU only sold shares in 7 resources companies, only 2 of which were in the fossil fuel industry. It held onto shares in the biggest and dirtiest oil and coal companies. As the climate crisis escalates, so does the global divestment movement. ANU should be a climate leader. But it has to earn it - time to Divest the Rest! Previously, we wrote: ANU is a recognised leader on sustainability research and teaching. It has numerous commitments to sustainable development, both on campus and in broader activities. So why on this threatened earth does ANU keep investing in coal, oil and coal seam gas? It's unacceptable and, frankly, embarrassing. But ANU can turn this around. It's time to show some leadership on this vital issue and become the first Australian University to go fossil free.
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